Lauren Ridloff, MCU's first deaf hero in 'Eternals,' on her superpower

What should Hollywood do to be more inclusive of deaf actors? Hollywood finally understands why having representation is so important, a...


What should Hollywood do to be more inclusive of deaf actors?

Hollywood finally understands why having representation is so important, and now it’s more about how. This is the trickiest part. We need deaf writers and creative talents involved in the film project planning process from the start. When you have deaf experts in and on stage, from the team to the makeup artists, it feels like it naturally leads to a more authentic portrayal on screen.

And for the deaf public?

Hollywood needs to take the lead when it comes to captioning commercials, trailers, and those cute little interviews with clips that celebrities do to promote their films. Another thing that I would like to see improve is the specifics of audio description. It is not enough to just see “the music playing” in a scene – what kind of music is it? Happy? Scary?

Are most movie theaters accessible to deaf people?

No! We’re an afterthought in movie theaters, and that needs to change. You have to use a special closed captioning device to watch closed captioning in a movie theater, and that’s a headache because most of the time the devices don’t work. Then you have to go back to the front desk and find someone to help you, and by the time they figure out that it isn’t working – that it won’t be captioned at all – the movie is halfway done. Then you get, “Well, what if I gave you a free ticket to the next movie?” And I’m like “Are you kidding me?” This does not solve the problem.

Do you feel any pressure to pave the way for future deaf actors?

I’m not going to lie, I sometimes feel the pressure and stress, and it can be a burden. I have to remember that it’s not my job to inspire others or be a role model, but what I have is the ability to make those connections.

What do you hope people take away from this film?

Growing up, I didn’t dream of becoming an actor. I couldn’t see myself on the screen. Little girl, I thought I was one of the few deaf people to walk on this Earth. Now, as an adult, I am aware that there is at least 466 million deaf and hard of hearing people. I’m not the only one. And that’s what it means to have a deaf superhero – a lot more people will see a lot more possibilities.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Lauren Ridloff, MCU's first deaf hero in 'Eternals,' on her superpower
Lauren Ridloff, MCU's first deaf hero in 'Eternals,' on her superpower
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